Dry facts: Imag­ine a day with­out water

Cam­paign raises aware­ness of in­fra­struc­ture is­sues

Yuma Sun - - NEWS - FROM STAFF RE­PORTS

Yuma is join­ing a na­tion­wide ef­fort to raise aware­ness about the cru­cial need for in­vest­ment in water in­fra­struc­ture, here and across the na­tion.

The city cel­e­brated the third an­nual Imag­ine a Day With­out Water on Oct. 12. It was a day of ed­u­ca­tion and ad­vo­cacy about the value of water. Led by the Value of Water Cam­paign, hun­dreds of or­ga­ni­za­tions across the coun­try hosted events aimed at rais­ing aware­ness about the cru­cial need for in­vest­ment in the na­tion’s water in­fra­struc­ture to en­sure that no Amer­i­can com­mu­nity is left with­out safe and re­li­able water.

The city be­gan a se­ries of posts on its of­fi­cial Face­book and Twit­ter ac­counts and de­voted time dur­ing its weekly ra­dio show City News Thurs­day to the dis­cus­sion of water in­fra­struc­ture and the state of mu­nic­i­pal water in the city.

“We’re ask­ing peo­ple to imag­ine sim­ple things, like a morn­ing with­out cof­fee or a foun­tain with­out water,” Util­i­ties Di­rec­tor Jay Si­mon­ton said. “Most peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence our water ser­vice as some­thing they can al­ways count on. But it takes sub­stan­tial amount of peo­ple, ef­fort and fa­cil­i­ties work­ing 24 hours a day, ev­ery day, to make that hap­pen.”

“It is easy to take our water in­fra­struc­ture for granted be­cause it is of­ten un­der­ground and out of sight,” added Rad­hika Fox, CEO of the U.S. Water Al­liance and Di­rec­tor of the Value of Water Cam­paign. “But the sys­tems that de­liver water to and from our homes and busi­nesses re­quire rein­vest­ment and up­keep just like roads and bridges. It is time to take ac­tion be­fore we face a cri­sis.”

The Value of Water Cam­paign noted na­tion­wide water in­fra­struc­ture is ag­ing and in need of in­vest­ment, hav­ing gone un­der­funded for decades. Drought, flood­ing and cli­mate change are stress­ing water and waste­water sys­tems.

A sin­gle na­tion­wide day with­out water ser­vice would put $43.5 bil­lion of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity at risk. In just eight days, a na­tional water ser­vice stop­page would put nearly 2 mil­lion jobs in jeop­ardy.

Imag­ine a Day With­out Water tells the sto­ries of chal­lenges faced when water in­fra­struc­ture fails, but also of the in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions be­ing im­ple­mented in com­mu­ni­ties na­tion­wide.

De­spite the vast chal­lenges fac­ing Amer­i­can water in­fra­struc­ture, the good news is that there is great op­por­tu­nity in in­vest­ment. A study con­ducted by the Value of Water Cam­paign has found there is more than $220 bil­lion in eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity to be gained na­tion­wide by clos­ing the water in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment gap.

The Amer­i­can pub­lic is al­ready widely sup­port­ive of im­ple­ment­ing th­ese needed in­vest­ments. Above any other press­ing po­lit­i­cal is­sue, Amer­i­cans name re­build­ing the na­tion’s in­fra­struc­ture as the is­sue they most want elected of­fi­cials to ad­dress.

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